Elevate Your E-Learning with UX

UX in e-learning

Elevate Your E-Learning with UX 

Read time: 5 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


Two weeks ago in this newsletter, I talked the trends that I think become important in 2024.  

(If you missed the email you can read it back here)

In this edition of my newsletter, I want to dive into the world of User Experience (UX) Design and its impact on e-learning.  

Are you ready to make your courses not just informative, but also incredibly engaging and user-friendly? Let’s explore how! 

What is UX design and why does It matter in e-learning? 

UX Design, at its core, is about creating easy, efficient, and delightful products. It’s the art and science of making users’ interactions as smooth and intuitive as possible.  

In e-learning development, applying UX principles means crafting courses that learners find enjoyable, engaging, and easy to navigate. It’s not just about the content, but how learners experience that content! 

How do instructional and UX design work together? 

Think of Instructional Design as the blueprint of your course’s educational content, while UX Design is about how learners interact with that content. Both need to work in harmony. Instructional design is about the learning part of your course, and UX design is about making your course user-friendly. 

How to apply UX design principles to e-learning development? 

Peter Morville’s honeycomb of UX is a fantastic guide for making your courses shine. Let’s see how each piece fits into e-learning: 

  • Useful: Your content should be valuable and relevant. 
  • Usable: Make the course easy to navigate. 
  • Desirable: Use an appealing design to hook your learners. 
  • Findable: Ensure learners can easily find what they need. 
  • Accessible: Design for all, including those with disabilities. 
  • Credible: Build trust with accurate and well-presented content. 
  • Valuable: Ensure your course meets your learners’ needs. 

Source: https://boanastudio.com/ 

How can you apply UX design in e-learning development? 

But how can you apply UX design now when creating your next e-learning course? Here are 6 key points that you can use for your next e-learning course. 

  1. Understand Your Learners: Use user research like surveys and interviews to grasp learner needs and create representative personas. 
  1. Set Clear Learning Objectives: Align objectives with learner needs, ensuring they are specific and measurable. 
  1. Design for Usability and Accessibility: Focus on intuitive navigation, consistent layout, and accessibility for all learners, including those with disabilities. 
  1. Create Engaging Content: Use relevant real-life scenarios and a variety of media to address different learning styles. 
  1. Foster Interaction: Incorporate interactive elements like quizzes and facilitate collaborative learning through group activities. 
  1. Maintain a Learner-Centric Approach: Regularly update content and provide learner support channels for ongoing improvement. 

Embracing UX in your e-learning courses doesn’t just make them better; it makes them learner favourites. Remember, the key is crafting courses that learners love engaging with, not just having to. 

Speak you next week! 
 
Mark 


P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


Ignite Your Next E-Learning Course With Micro-Interactions!

micro-interactions-social-media (1) (1)

Ignite Your Next E-Learning Course With Micro-Interactions

Read time: 5 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


In last week’s post, I talked about Micro interactions as 1 of the 5 essential skills for 2024.  

(Missed it? You can read the post here.)

In today’s email, I want to dive further into micro-interactions and how they can help you enhance your next e-learning course. 

Are you ready to dive into the tiny yet mighty world of micro-interactions? These little gems are the secret sauce to making your e-learning courses not just informative, but irresistibly engaging! 

What are Micro-Interactions? 

Micro-interactions are small, almost invisible actions within an app a website or your e-learning course. Think of them as the heartbeat of user experience.  

They’re the little things that make your e-learning course feel alive – like a congratulatory animation when a learner completes a quiz or a subtle sound effect when they select an answer. 

The Four Components of Micro-Interactions 

Micro-interactions consist of the following four elements: 

  1. The trigger: This starts the micro-interaction. It could be a user action or a system condition. 
  1. Rules: These define what happens in the interaction. It’s the behind-the-scenes magic. 
  1. Feedback: This is what the user sees or hears in response to their action. It’s the part that makes them smile! 
  1. Loops & Modes: These determine the micro-interaction’s duration and changes over time. 

Now you know what micro-interactions are and how they are constructed, let’s see what the power of micro-interactions is. 

The Power of Micro-Interactions 

Micro-interactions are powerful because they transform the e-learning experience of your learners from a passive activity into an interactive, engaging, course.  

They play a crucial role in enhancing user experience, improving information retention, and making learning effective and enjoyable. 

  • Enhance User Engagement: They make learning interactive and fun. By incorporating small, interactive elements, learners are more likely to stay focused and interested in the content. 
  • Provide Instant Feedback: It helps learners understand immediately if they are on the right track, reinforcing learning and aiding in memory retention. 
  • Guide Users: They help navigate through the course seamlessly. This smooths out the learning journey and reduces the cognitive load on learners. 
  • Create an Emotional Connection: They add personality to your course, making it more relatable. This emotional connection can be a key factor in motivating learners to complete the course. 
  • Attention to Detail: The use of micro-interactions shows a commitment to quality and attention to detail in your course. This can increase the perceived value of the course and the credibility of the content, leading to higher satisfaction rates among learners. 

Let’s dive in some examples… 

Examples of Great Micro-Interactions for your next e-learning course 

Below, I summed up some great interactions you can include in your next e-learning course. 

Animated Progress Bars: Showing how far a learner has come in your course. 

Hover Effects: When learners hover over an element, it changes colour or size, indicating it’s clickable. 

Completion Checkmarks: A satisfying tick when a section is completed. 

Interactive Quizzes: Where answers give immediate, visually engaging feedback. 

Interactive Hotspots: Animated hotspot elements that encourage users to click on the hotspots 

Do you want more micro-interaction inspiration? Go to https://dribbble.com/ and type micro-interactions in the search field.  

Crafting Micro-Interactions in Your Next E-Learning Course. 

But how can you incorporate micro-interactions into your next e-learning course? 

Identify Opportunities: Look for places in your course where learners interact most. When you pick the places for the micro-interactions, don’t overdo it.  

Keep your micro-interactions simple: The best micro-interactions feel natural and unobtrusive. 

Be Consistent: Use similar styles and behaviours throughout the course for a cohesive experience. 

Test and Iterate: See how learners respond to these interactions and keep improving. 

Remember, micro-interactions might be small, but their impact on learning can be huge. They turn your e-learning course from a static presentation into an interactive experience. So, let’s sprinkle these tiny sparks of joy into your next e-learning course and watch our learners’ engagement rises! 

Speak you next week! 

Mark


P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


Gear Up for 2024: 5 Skills Every E-Learning Developer Needs!

5 Skills Every E-Learning Developer Needs!

Gear Up for 2024: 5 Skills Every E-Learning Developer Needs! 

Read time: 3 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


5 Skills Every E-Learning Developer Needs! 

Are you ready to make a splash in e-learning this 2024?  

Making a splash in 2024 is all about nailing the right skills. In today’s issue of my newsletter, I explain what I think are the essential skills to the e-learning scene in 2024!” 

Curious? Let’s go to the first skill… 

Knowledge of Design Principles and User Experience (UX) 

Why is knowing about design principles and User Experience (UX) important in 2024? It’s simple: the way our learners interact with our elearning courses shapes their learning experience. Great design is more than just looking good – it’s about making learning easy, fun, and effective. When you get UX right, your courses become more accessible, engaging, and accessible for everyone. This leads to better learning, happier learners, and awesome outcomes.  

Taking accessibility into account in e-learning development 

You cannot develop eLearning courses in 2024 without taking Accessibility into account. When you make your content accessible, you invite everyone to the learning party, regardless of their abilities. It’s all about being inclusive and showing you care. Accessible design means more people can learn and nobody gets left out. 

Using micro-interactions in your e-learning courses 

are you using micro-interactions in your courses yet? If not, let’s make it a 2024 goal! These tiny, interactive touches jazz up the learning experience. They’re like continuous mini high-fives, keeping learners hooked and making their journey through the course smoother and more fun. With micro-interactions, you’re doing more than just sharing info –creating a lively, engaging learning course. This can seriously ramp up learner involvement and help make content stick. 

Using AI tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney and HeyGen to your advantage 

have you been keeping an eye on the AI buzz this year? Worried it might take over your job? I don’t think so! In fact, it’s smart to team up with AI tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, and HeyGen for your future projects. Think of them as your powerhouse sidekicks. They’re awesome for crafting engaging content, bringing stories to life visually, simplifying complex concepts, and even translating videos. Plus, they’re a goldmine for fresh, creative ideas. With these tools, you can create learning experiences that are more interactive, personalized, and super effective. They’re all about helping you work smarter and keeping your content on the cutting edge. 

Effective Communication and Collaboration Skills 

In the world of e-learning, you’re often part of a diverse team, working with educators, designers, tech experts, and more. Communicating clearly and collaborating effectively is key to turning great ideas into amazing learning experiences. It helps you understand different perspectives, solve problems creatively, and keep projects on track. Plus, good communication ensures everyone’s on the same page, making the development process smoother and more enjoyable.  

Remember, e-learning’s future is more than just tech-savvy; it’s about a journey of continuous learning and embracing everyone. Each skill I’ve talked about today is more than a tool – it’s your path to creating learning experiences that truly resonate and include everyone. Let’s implement these ideas and be the trailblazers for e-learning’s future. 
 


P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


AI for E-learning developers: Opportunity or threat?

Upward online Ai blog

AI for E-learning developers: Opportunity or threat?

Read time: 2 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


Ever since OpenAI lambasted Chatgpt in late 2022, AI has been the buzzword of 2023, also in e-learning land. There are already several tools that have implemented AI integrations such as Ispring, Easygenerator and VYOND. Articulate has also announced that they will integrate AI into the Articulate 360 suite in 2024.  

Is this our future?  

You enter your e-learning topic into your favourite authoring tool, press the big ‘Generate’ button, and within minutes, an engaging course comes out that meets accessibility standards and is fully SCORM compliant. E-learning developers are obsolete! 

Wait a minute before you immediately start thinking about retraining plans. I don’t believe it will work out that way.  

Why do you ask? 

Don’t underestimate human input for creating a good e-learning module. Generative AI, as we can now from ChatGPT, MidJourney and other tools, is a very clever data processor.  

What do I mean by that? 

ChatGPT and MidJourney can generate from billions of examples at lightning speed the most likely set of words or images that fit a task you enter. But they don’t think about the answer. AI has no consciousness and cannot doubt, weigh, or add an ethical or aesthetic judgment. It only builds on patterns from the present and the past. 

Our strength as e-learning developers is that we can look ahead and develop (learning) solutions that fall outside existing patterns. Our creativity and imagination are our added value over AI. 

Yes. AI is going to change our work.  

It will be different but better I believe in that. With AI you perform time-consuming jobs faster. No more spending hours searching for the most suitable image but generating it yourself. This leaves time for qualitative work with which you can make a difference to customers.  

Be open to AI and learn how to use it so that it makes your work more efficient and you can use it to create e-learning modules that meet customers’ needs even better. 

See you next week 

Mark 


P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


E-learning templates.. love it or hate it

E-learning templates love them or hate them

E-learning templates.. love it or hate it

Read time: 2 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


E-learning templates are boring and don’t work well.

Many people think e-learning templates are boring and don’t work well. I get where this misconception comes from when I see what templates I sometimes have to work with.  

It’s sad that this misconception about e-learning templates still exists. 

When you have a set of good templates, you can save heaps of time and make much better quality e-learning courses. 

But then your e-learning templates must meet a few requirements 

Adoption: you can have a fantastic template, but it will remain a mess if no one knows how it works. Ensure you include clear instructions so everyone can work with the templates in your organisation.  

The correct settings: I see many templates that are not. They are loose elements added to the slides. Make sure you create the slides in Storyline in the Slide Master. Also, set the right colours and fonts here so that all text, shapes, etc., are automatically in the right style. 
 
Balance in variety: you want to provide enough different layouts to create your e-learning courses. Too few layouts will cause people to “tinker” themselves, and too many layouts will make it cluttered. So this needs to be balanced. Most of my templates have about 10 layouts to choose from. 

Think about the design: creating templates is often uneasy. You have to design templates based on content that does not exist yet and of which you do not know how long it will be. Make your templates as fluid as possible. 

Test your templates: Are your templates ready to start building with? Stop and take a step back. First, test your templates thoroughly before using them. It’s easy to adjust something in 1 template instead of in 10 different places in your course. 

I have been designing templates for both SMBs and large multinationals for years and see that a well-developed template delivers the following: 
 
✅ Major time savings on creating courses 
✅ Your e-learning courses are consistent, and all look good 
✅ Your courses fit entirely into your company’s corporate identity. Should the corporate identity change, you can easily modify templates and existing courses built with templates. 

Do you also want good-looking templates that are easy for your organisation?  

Then keep an eye on my emails and social media because soon I will launch a brand new service for quality custom e-learning templates for your organization. 

See you next week 

Mark 


P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


Should you learn how to code as an elearning professional?

Learn code elearningprofessional

Should you learn how to code as an elearning professional? 

Read time: 4 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


Let me get right to the point. Should you learn how to code as an e-learning professional? 

The short answer to that question is: no. 

Learning how to code doesn’t make sense for you as an e-learning professional. But you can benefit greatly from a programming mindset. I will explain this in a minute. 

But first… 

You have two terms: coding and programming and although they are often used interchangeably do not mean the same thing to me. 

Let me explain… 

Coding is picking a language (PHP, JAVA, Python) and writing lines of code to create an application from scratch. 

But programming is broader. Think about it: you can program up an app, a washing machine, or a game without manually typing in lines of code. To me, programming is all about the logic behind the curtain. It’s a mindset, how you tackle problems, and the blueprint you use. Getting into that programmer headspace? That’s your ticket from juggling content to solving the puzzle.” 

So now you know what I think of “programming.” let me give you 5 reasons why it does come in very handy as an e-learning professional to know something about programming. 

  1. Efficient Collaboration with Developers: By understanding the programming approach, you can clearly articulate your course requirements to developers. It bridges the communication gap, ensuring you both speak a similar language. This makes the development process smoother and more effective. 
  1. Scalable and Modular Course Design: Adopting the modular approach common in programming, you can create e-learning modules that are reusable and adaptable. This is great for consistent branding, quicker course development, and easy updates to content without rebuilding from scratch. 
  1. Enhanced Problem-Solving & Debugging: Just as programmers troubleshoot code, you can efficiently identify and resolve issues in e-learning content. This “debugging” mindset ensures that any hiccups in the learner’s journey, like navigation issues or content ambiguities, are addressed promptly. 
  1. Iterative Development and Feedback Loop: Programmers work in iterations, constantly refining based on feedback. You can adopt this method by releasing pilot versions of courses, gathering learner feedback, and refining content for better clarity and engagement. This ensures the final product is polished and meets learners’ needs. 
  1. Prototyping and Testing: In programming, creating prototypes before the final product is standard. You can design course mock-ups or prototypes to test the flow, interactivity, and user experience. Working closely with developers, these prototypes can be refined and adjusted before the full development, saving time and resources. 

In essence, thinking like a programmer can significantly enhance your efficiency and effectiveness when creating e-learning courses, especially when working alongside developers in e-learning course creation. 

See you next week 

Mark 

————-

P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


The Most Asked Question: Storyline vs Rise?

Articulate storyline-vs-rise

The Most Asked Question: Storyline vs Rise? 

Read time: 4 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


This week, I’m answering a burning question that is on top of the minds of many e-learning professionals: Which tool should I use for my e-learning Articulate Storyline or Articulate Rise?

My answer: It depends…

I know it’s a lousy answer😉 but let me explain….

Before you jump in, having a clear vision of your project’s needs and knowing both tool’s strengths and weaknesses are crucial. Only then can you truly decide between Storyline and Rise.

Let’s first explore the strengths and weaknesses of Storyline.

What is Storyline 360

Storyline 360 is an e-learning authoring tool with a slide-based interface. With Storyline you have complete freedom in the design of your course and where to place elements on your slide. With Storyline you have the possibility to create courses with custom scenarios, interactive videos, simulations and gamified quizzes to create e-learning courses.

Here are Storyline’s Pros and Cons.

Pros:

  1. High Customizability: Storyline offers a wide range of tools and features to create great interactions such as branching scenarios, and animations, catering to specific learning objectives and experiences.
  2. Advanced Interactivity: With its trigger-based system, variables, and states, Storyline can create complex interactive elements, simulations and gamified content.
  3. Built-in templates: Storyline has lots of built-in templates so you don’t have to start from scratch every time if you are a less experienced developer or have less time.

Cons:

Responsiveness: While Storyline offers design capabilities for various devices, achieving a truly responsive design that adapts perfectly across all devices is impossible. Storyline scales the content.

Desktop Dependency: Storyline is a desktop application, so it lacks the flexibility of cloud-based solutions, which allow for anywhere, anytime editing.

Steep Learning Curve: The extensive features of Storyline 360 can be daunting if you are a beginner.

What is Rise?

Rise 360 is a cloud-based e-learning authoring tool designed for creating responsive and modern online courses. With its web-based interface, you can build courses using pre-designed modules and templates that automatically adjust to fit any device, be it a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Its modular approach, combined with a range of interactive features, ensures rapid course development while maintaining a high-quality learner experience.

These are the Pros and Cons of Rise:

Pros:

  1. Responsive Design: Rise 360 is inherently built for multi-device compatibility. Courses automatically adapt to fit desktops, tablets, and smartphones, ensuring a consistent learner experience across all devices.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: With its web-based, drag-and-drop functionality, Rise 360 allows for rapid course development, even for those with little to no prior e-learning design experience.
  3. Collaborative Features: Rise 360 supports real-time collaborative authoring, enabling multiple team members to work on a course simultaneously, streamlining the development process.

Cons:

  1. Limited Customization: While Rise 360 offers a range of pre-designed modules and templates, it may not provide the depth of customisation some advanced designers seek, especially compared to tools like Storyline 360.
  2. Internet Dependency: Being a cloud-based tool, Rise 360 requires an active internet connection for course creation, which might be limiting in environments with connectivity issues.
  3. Lack of Advanced Interactivity: Rise 360, while excellent for linear and modular courses, may not be the best fit for courses requiring intricate interactions, simulations, or complex branching scenarios.

Now that you know both tools’ pros and cons, let’s consider when it’s best to use one or another.

Imagine your project needs to create some custom interactions and custom branching. Which tool would be the most appropriate?

Indeed: The correct answer Storyline

You have another e-learning that is a performance support e-learning for construction workers to operate a machine that automatically lays pavement stones. Construction workers can view the performance support on their mobile phones. Which tool suits this situation best?

Correct again: Articulate Rise!

While Articulate Storyline and Rise 360 have great features, the key lies in aligning the tool’s strengths with your project’s requirements.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question: Storyline vs. Rise which tool should I choose? If you have clarity on your objectives and know each tool’s pros and cons, you’re well-equipped to make the best choice for every e-learning project.

See you next week

Mark

————-

P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


Simplicity Equals Success

Simplicity Equals Success - Articulate Storyline

How to Create Simple Yet Effective E-Learning Courses

Read time: 2 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


One of the most important rules when creating e-learning courses is to make your e-learning courses simple.

You don’t want to frustrate your learners!

This means:

  • No overcomplicated navigation
  • No extreme lengths of text on the slides
  • No interactions for the sake of having an interaction
  • No information that is far from the real world

What is the reaction when I tell this to people?

Everyone agrees with me.

Nobody ever says, “Well, with us, we prefer complex e-learnings anyway!”

But if everyone so agrees on the importance of simple courses

So why does it happen so little in practice?

Because simple sounds simple…

But it’s super difficult in practice.

Simple e-learning courses require at least two things

You have to:

  • really grasp the essence of what problem you are trying to solve
  • dare to make sharp choices

Last week, I read a wonderful example about the CEO of Sony

In the late 1970s, the CEO of Sony Masaru Ibuka asked his engineers for a new product.

He wanted a device that would allow him to listen to music during flights between Tokyo and the US.

After a few months, the engineers presented their design (the design that would later become the Walkman).

They were proud.

For not only had they fulfilled the CEO’s wish, but they had also managed to incorporate an extra feature:

🔴 A recording function.

So you could not only listen to music with the Walkman, but also record music.

But what happened?

The Sony chief informed that they had to scrap that record button.

And that was remarkable because this button would not have added more than a few euros to the price.

So why delete that feature?

On the face of it, a stupid decision. But psychologically, on the contrary, it was brilliant.

Because Sony’s CEO knew that people would be confused by the presence of a recording function.

  • Was the device meant to dictate letters?
  • Am I supposed to record my vinyl record on cassette?
  • Or is it meant to record live music?

And so, the first Walkman lacked the record button.

Purely to make it clear that the device was meant for listening to music (and nothing else but that).

The lack of the record button made the Walkman…

Simple

And its very simplicity was a key success factor of the Walkman.

——————

So.

Before you can make effective e-learning courses, you have to:

  • get to the essence (Walkman = listening)
  • make sharp choices (delete recording function)

I liked the story. You hopefully did too!

If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about creating e-learning courses with Articulate Storyline, you can watch my YouTube videos here

See you next week

Mark

————-

P.s: Whenever you’re ready, this is how I can help you:

Want to become a Storyline pro, build confidence and improve your career? Subscribe now to my ultimate Articulate Storyline online course.

. In this online course, you will learn everything you need from e-learning design, states, triggers, variables and conditions to creating templates and implementing your finished course in an LMS. This online course has 63+ videos—5+ hours of truly practical video content.

You now get a $50 discount with the coupon UPWemail.


Ready, Set, Test: Perfecting Your E-Learning Courses

Perfecting Your E-Learning Courses - articulate storyline

Read time: 2 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


Imagine you’re setting off on a cross-country road trip.

You’ve packed your favourite snacks, curated your perfect playlist, and checked off every item on your packing list. Finally, you’re ready to go!

But just as you settle into the rhythm of the highway, your trusty car starts to sputter. The ‘Check Engine’ light flickers ominously on the dashboard. A sinking feeling sets in as you coast to the side of the road. The need for a necessary pre-trip safety check has made your journey standstill. Bummer!

Like this road trip, every e-learning project is a journey, and every slide in Storyline and every trigger is a step toward your destination.

Like the safety check could have saved your road trip from unexpected interruptions, testing your e-learning course before delivery safeguards your e-learning journey, ensuring that every part functions as it should.

Here are five quick tips to test your e-learning course:

  1. Define Clear Requirements: Before you build your course, specify the computer/device specifications (browsers, screen size, connection speed, etc.) that your course should work on.
  2. Assign Specific Testing Roles: Have the QA Tester focus on functional requirements, the instructional designer check content accuracy, and an editor scrutinise grammar and punctuation.
  3. Use a Comprehensive Checklist: Create a thorough checklist of elements to review. Don’t rely on memory, and avoid spot-checking to prevent missed issues.
  4. Leverage Testing Tools: Test on various systems, browsers, and SCORM Cloud for LMS functionality.
  5. Embrace the Learner’s Perspective: Understand that learners navigate courses differently. Make instructions clear and accessible, and ensure functionality regardless of the learner’s pace or interaction order.

I hope these tips will help to better test your next E-learning project.

If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about creating e-learning courses with Articulate Storyline, you can watch my YouTube videos here

Thanks for reading.

 Mark


A common e-learning Myth

Articulate Storyline elearning myth

Read time: 2 minutes

Today’s issue of my blog is sponsored by FasterCourse.com. FasterCourse has more than 50 beautifully designed and programmed Articulate Storyline e-learning templates that hundreds of people worldwide use to create effective and engaging e-learning courses. (including me!)

With the coupon code upwardonline, you’ll now get a 10% discount on all of the FasterCourse e-learning templates! Go to the FasterCourse website and enter the coupon code on the checkout page for your 10% discount!


Let’s bust a common e-learning Myth:

Learners read text in an e-learning course word-by-word
..
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What do you think? True or False?
..
..
I’ll give it away right away.

Most of your learners usually skim the pages in an e-learning course looking for something meaningful to them and skip what’s irrelevant to them.

Is there nothing you can do about this behaviour?

Yes, you certainly do. From research, two key findings make texts read your e-learning course better:

  1. When learners find the information they are interested in, they are likely to read the related content word for word.
  2. Well-structured pages designed for cursory reading are more likely to be read.

Let’s translate these two findings into some practical tips so learners read text better in your next e-learning course.

1.Know the ‘problem’ you want to solve

The most important reason for the success of your e-learning course is to be extremely sharp about what ‘problem’ you are going to solve with your e-learning course. And find out how your target audience experiences this problem. With this information, you can create an e-learning module where your target audience will find the information they need to work on their problem.

2. Create an introduction that is strong and engaging.

Make sure it grabs the learner’s attention and makes them curious about the rest of the e-learning. For example, ask a stimulating question, tell an anecdote or provide a surprising fact about the content.

3. Use meaningful headers that clearly describe what each section is about.

Headers break up paragraphs of text and hook your learner in to dive deeper into the content. Imagine your learners are drunk, sleepy, and distracted: if they saw your headers for five seconds, would they know what your entire piece is about? If not, you may have trouble engaging most readers.

4. Write in short paragraphs

Long blocks of text are discouraging and encourage scanning rather than reading. Instead, write in short, easy-to-read paragraphs in plain language that hold your learner’s attention and make the content easier to understand.

5. Use white space to create visual balance

White space is important because it improves the readability of your text. If you cram a lot of text into one place, your learners are more likely to scan rather than read. Therefore, use white space to break up the text and make the content easier to read. Use bullet points whenever possible. Applying these tips will let your readers read your texts rather than just scan them. This will increase your learner’s engagement and understanding of the content.